Following my retirement, we have closed our company for new business.

Please do not hesitate to contact me directly, our email portal remains open and I would be delighted to hear from you and provide ongoing support or advice.

Richard Thomson

Companies represented up to the end of December 2023. Please now contact them directly.

k-Space Associates, Inc.
Phone: +1 (734) 426-7977

Phone: +49 8761 76 24 0

Friday 29 July 2011

University of Cambridge selects Escalab 250Xi

For their demanding high resolution work on organic thin film semiconductors, the Optoelectronics Group in the Department of Physics has selected the Escalab 250Xi as best meeting their analysis requirements in both XPS and UPS. Following the installation of both Theta Probe and K-Alpha instruments earlier this year, we will soon have all three of the latest generation of Thermo Fisher Scientific XPS instruments at customer sites in the UK. All of course run Avantage software (now on Windows 7) the acknowledged leading XPS software for ease of use and productivity.

Thursday 28 July 2011

Towards 200mm GaN/Si

Leading wafer manufacturer Siltronic AG and the Belgian nano-electronics research institute IMEC have concluded an agreement to collaborate on the development of gallium nitride layers on silicon substrates. Siltronic will partner IMEC in the GaN-on-Si programme aimed at delivering a manufacturable GaN technology on 200 mm silicon wafers for power device and LED applications.

Tuesday 26 July 2011

Unveiling the unpronounceable

Two new elements have been added to the Periodic Table - welcome ununquadium and ununhexium. The good news is that these are only temporary names. The new elements have been added to the periodic table after a three-year review conducted by a joint working party of the International Union of Pure and Applied Chemistry and the International Union of Pure and Applied Physics. In recent years, there have been several claims for the discovery of new chemical elements at positions 113, 114, 115, 116 and 118 on the periodic table. However the working party concluded that only elements 114 and 116 fulfilled criteria for official inclusion in the Periodic Table. The others, as yet, do not.

Thursday 21 July 2011

Apple porridge

A court in Shenzhen, China, has sentenced three people to jail for stealing design details of Apple's iPad2 tablet computer from the contract manufacturer Foxcon. According to the Guangzhou Daily, the offences occurred in 2010 and meant that counterfeit versions of the iPad2 went on sale in China before Apple had launched the product. The court sentenced Xiao Chengsong, the legal agent of Maita Electronics, to 18 months in prison and fined him $23,000. It is reported that he paid about $31,000 for the design details. Two Foxconn employees who sold the details were also fined and given jail sentences. Officially the three were convicted of violating commercial secrets. I would imagine that Mr Jobs is not likely to forget in a hurry that Foxconn allowed Apple's design to walk out the door.

Tuesday 19 July 2011

Reducing power

For many years we have wanted our electronics to drive thing smaller, faster and cheaper. The current trend (need) is to reduce our reliance on electricity generated from fossil fuels. Equipment and devices need to be more energy efficient. Electronic Times has a very interesting article that looks at the technologies that are, and will, play a major role in this power revolution. The areas discussed include: 3-dimensional transistor IC architecture; solid state LED lighting; superconducting cables within the electricity grid distribution system and SiC power devices.

Thursday 14 July 2011

91.4 Tesla and 8.126 petaflops

There must be something in the air in Germany. The last two weeks have seen some big numbers in science and engineering. In Dresden the Helmholtz-Zentrum Dresden-Rossendorf has set a new world record for magnetic fields with 91.4 Tesla. The team at the High Magnetic Field Laboratory Dresden (HLD) made a coil weighing about 200 kilograms in which an electric current can create the giant magnetic field for a period of a few milliseconds. The coil survives the short period and intense Lorentz forces, through being made of a cooper alloy and being held in place using a plastic fibre corset. Whilst 500km up the road in Hamburg, a Japanese supercomputer was becoming the fastest in the world. The K Computer achieved a mere 8.162 quadrillion calculations per second, or 8.162 petaflops (ten to the power fifteen, flops = floating point operations per second). But can it cope with Windows and IE9?

Thursday 7 July 2011

Big enough ideas?

Big Ideas for the Future is a new report from Research Councils UK (RCUK) and Universities UK that explores the research taking place in UK higher education under the auspices of the seven individual Research Councils. Quite rightly, RCUK promote the value of public investment in higher education and research and the positive impact this has on economic growth and the social wellbeing of the UK. In addition to emphasising the benefits of what has been done and is being done, it would be interesting to see the RCUK report tackling some more difficult issues. For example: considering what is not being done and how to prioritise what could be done against what should be done.